You just found out you got a promotion and feel both utter excitement and sheer terror at your new responsibilities. You think you have what it takes, and you know others believe in you. But after moving up the ladder, you need to assess the changes you’ll need to make to succeed in your new position.
There’s probably still a hint of insecurity about whether or not you can excel at this next level. To counter this, you pour yourself into learning what you need to do next and whom to impress.
If you only think about doing more work and making more people happy, then you’re setting yourself for potential failure, burnout… or both. Through my work with time coaching and training clients around the world, I’ve seen that, to succeed after a promotion, you need to go beyond the average strategies to the exceptional.
Here are three counterintuitive truths that will improve your chance of success after a promotion:
Define What You’ll No Longer Be Doing
It’s simple arithmetic. If you spend more time in one area, then you need to spend less time in another. That means in addition to determining what you will do following your promotion, you need to define what you won’t do anymore. That could mean decreasing the amount of projects you’re responsible for—instead of doing reports, models, or proposals, simply review them. That could mean putting some of your direct reports under another manager. That could mean answering fewer emails that an assistant can reply to instead.
It’s essential you clarify what you won’t do for a number of reasons:
- It helps you to recognize when you need to delegate versus doing it yourself.
- It allows the people reporting to you to take full responsibility for their jobs.
- It forces you to really do your new job.
Initially, you’re going to be worse at doing your new tasks than you were at doing the work that you’ve been doing before. But if you take courage and master those new skills instead of clinging to the familiar territory of your last position, then you give yourself a great chance of growing into mastery at the new level.
Depend on Other People More and Don’t Hesitate to Delegate
Yes, you got promoted because you were recognized for your skills, hard work, and potential. This can make it tempting—particularly if you’re feeling a bit uncertain about your promotion—to horde work. You want to show you can do it all yourself—and well.
The only problem is every time you get a promotion, you need to depend on others more, not less. That means getting the team in place around you in the office who can take responsibilities off your plate so you can get the higher level strategic and management work done.
That also means getting more support outside of the office—whether it’s a housecleaner, babysitter, cook, or whomever else you need to get tasks done so you have more space to recharge when you’re not at work. That also means finding mentors and coaches who can help up-level your leadership skills from time management to communication and everything in between.
You’ve never done the job you’re in before, so it’s normal to not be exactly sure what to do. However, you won’t excel if you don’t learn the skills to thrive at this next level.
Cling to Your Core Priorities
The higher you go in your organization, the more the basics matter. You don’t need less sleep, you need more—and to be far stricter about making it a priority. Being sleep deprived dramatically decreases your emotional control, decision-making ability, and productivity. You can’t afford to have those compromised at the next level.
You don’t need less exercise, you need more—or to simply maintain a solid schedule of physical care if you’re already staying in shape. Regular movement improves your health, your mood, and your energy levels.
You don’t need less time with your family, friends, and simply relaxing—you need more. This will give you the resilience to weather the stresses of ups and downs in your business, and the perspective that there is more to life than work.
After your next promotion, use these strategies to succeed at work and life.
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through coaching and training programs.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review recently published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.